Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Stella Maris Retreat Centre and Chapel saved

Wingnut Films
Wellington City Council

NEWS RELEASE
12 September 2007

Stella Maris Retreat Centre and Chapel saved

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have bought the historic Stella Maris Retreat Centre and Star of the Sea Chapel in Seatoun.

The purchase follows community and Council concern at an application to the Environment Court to have the heritage listing removed from the Chapel which would have taken away its protection from possible demolition.

“The loss of Stella Maris and the Chapel would have irrevocably altered the beauty and charm of the Seatoun area. We feel it’s important to protect and preserve these buildings. They are an extremely unique piece of local history,” Mr Jackson says.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast welcomed the news.

“The Council is absolutely delighted that Peter and Fran have bought this beautiful site. This iconic facility has been an integral part of the Seatoun community for decades, as a chapel and school, and is historically significant, not just to the local area but to the whole of Wellington,” she says.

“The Council has worked hard to protect the site. The architecturally-significant church is listed as an historic place and we have recently extended that protection to the area around the church. Without this extremely generous offer by Fran and Peter to buy and protect the site, Wellington faced losing a very valuable piece of the city’s heritage. On behalf of the city I thank them.”

Mr Jackson says their use of the site will be low impact – most likely offices and a small computer effects production facility.

“Our aim is to preserve the chapel and the Stella Maris school building in their current setting. At this stage the goal is to strengthen the Chapel and use the surrounding buildings for low key work such as film editing and computer effects. We appreciate the local interest in these historic buildings, and we’re thinking about holding an open day early in the New Year,” he says.

Sisters of Mercy Congregation Leader Sister Denise Fox says the Sisters are delighted at the news and welcome the sale enabling the preservation of the Chapel and original building. The result is a positive outcome for all involved, she says.

The Sisters of Mercy ran Star of the Sea School on the site from 1909 until 1976. When the school closed the buildings were used as a conference and retreat centre. The Chapel has been closed since 2002 as it does not meet the Council’s earthquake code. The settlement date is 21 December.

“Ending our association with a community like Seatoun is not easy, but the school has been closed for 30 years, and the demand for retreats has declined,” Sister Denise says.

“We are able to focus on our mission of education, healthcare, social services and the provision of social housing and are released from the burden of preserving an historic building. The outcome will be pleasing for the various parties who have shown interest in the Chapel since our application was lodged in the Environment Court,” says Sister Denise.

Wellington City Council will work with Peter and Fran to support their heritage restoration work and other small changes to prepare the site for its exciting new future as part of Wellington’s creative industries.

“This must be one of the best locations in Wellington for creative thinking,” Mayor Prendergast says.

“I’m delighted that the beauty of this site will not only be maintained for the residents and visitors of Wellington, but will now become available to new generations as a place to explore and develop their creative talents,” she says.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: The PM’s Hair-Pulling Power Trip

There have been striking differences between (a) the account of the waitress involved in the hair-pulling incidents, and (b) the account being given by Prime Minister John Key. The version by the waitress is available here and is recommended to anyone yet to read it. By her account, there were multiple instances of hair-pulling and these persisted and persisted long after she had made her annoyance clear to Key – who had also been advised by his wife, and by other café staff that the behavior was evidently not being welcomed. More>>

ALSO:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news